Discovery II V8 XS
Year of registration: '99/V
Owned: February '07 to September '07
Have you ever bought a car with your heart rather than your head? That's exactly what I did with this one. Having decided that I was going to part with my 300tdi Discovery, I was casting around for a new vehicle and came across an advert for this immaculate looking low mileage Discovery II. I loved everything about it - the colour, the trim and even the engine. I rationalised with myself that running a big V8 wouldn't be such a big deal - I didn't cover much mileage every year and my old 300tdi wasn't really that economical anyway.
I went to see it and the love affair only deepened. It really was a superb looking vehicle and the test drive revealed that it moved like a stabbed rat when provoked. I returned from that with a big grin on my face. There was a small issue of some oil on the front of the engine, but I willingly accepted the explanation of a split hose that had been repaired from the dealer. The alarm bells completely failed to ring when I made him an offer that was readily accepted and the deal was done.
I've never been so wrong about a vehicle.
To its' credit, it did drive beautifully and towed our large twin axle caravan with barely a shrug. The exterior had a showroom finish and the interior was spotless. I even had a pretty serious play with it off-road at the Discovery Owners Club National and it performed magnificently despite it's very road biased tyres, with all of the electrickery underneath doing it's stuff. However, fuel consumption was eye-wateringly poor - on a nice steady run I could just about manage 20mpg, but during my normal day-to-day driving it was down to between 12 and 13mpg.
The fuel consumption wasn't the worst thing though. A couple of months after buying it whilst driving home form work one day, I noticed the temperature gauge go up slightly and then settle back down again. Not catastrophic in itself, but I did still retain a healthy degree of paranoia about overheating V8's so I booked it in with my local specialist, Nick Kerner 4x4, to be checked out. They carried out a pressure test and confirmed my worst fear that one of the head gaskets had failed. Not only did this result in a huge repair bill but it became apparent that it probably explained the failed oil cooler hose that had sprayed oil all over the engine before I bought it!
To cap all of this off, a month or so after having it repaired another fault developed - this time with the casting that the water pump is bolted to, which resulted in another large repair bill.
At this point I decided that enough was enough and to cut my losses. I wasn't sad to see it go and, if I'm honest, I was kicking myself for having parted with my ultra reliable 300tdi.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Last updated: 22-Sep-11